Borrower Case Study: Mr Whitehead’s Cider

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Nick Moules
9th May 2014

Mr Whitehead’s Cider was created by Angus Whitehead ten years ago “with £10k and some help from a couple of friends”, says Angus. Since then it has grown its turnover to nearly £1m and Angus employs experienced local people in a market he is very passionate about.

His company produces a range of ciders, vinegars and juices and is based near Alton, Hampshire. Now it is set to expand after securing a loan of £72,000 from the lenders of rebuildingsociety.com.

The loan will be used to complete the relocation of the business, which supplies cider to major supermarkets and national pub chains, from its current position where it operates from three sites, to one larger site where the business expects to make efficiency savings of £30,000 a year.

It will also allow the business to install machinery to produce carbonated ciders, beers and fruit juices, further increasing its range of products, all of which contain locally sourced ingredients.

Winning trust

The loan to Mr Whitehead’s Cider involved 150 individuals lending an average of £480. The smallest contribution was just £10. Capital and interest repayments are made monthly by the business, with rebuildingsociety.com acting as administrator to distribute the funds to lenders.

Lenders expressed goodwill towards Angus and his business after he answered their questions satisfactorily

Angus’ success in raising the cash owed much to his forthright approach to interacting with lenders through rebuildingsociety.com’s online forum. Lenders ask questions of business owners to deepen their understanding of the business and evaluate the risk in lending.

“This finance will dramatically alter the complexion of my business. It will allow us to expand our product range and become more efficient. I’m grateful to the 150 individuals, who I have never met, for believing in my business and lending us their cash, says Angus.

“I would recommend this approach to anyone else in a similar position because it is engaging and took us a couple of weeks from submitting our application to getting the money in the bank.”

Dan Rajkumar, MD of rebuildingsociety.com added: “Angus’ business and positive approach certainly struck a chord with our lenders. Food and drink businesses do well on our platform because everyone can relate to them, so we wish him every success in the future.

“He has now raised awareness of his product to hundreds of lenders that are now stakeholders. Next time they’re in a pub and spot a Mr Whitehead’s Cider product, I’m sure they’ll buy it and encourage their friends to do the same. That’s the positive influence of borrowing money through a crowd.”

 

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